On the concept of education
There are three parts to the thesis, the first two dealing with others' views of education, the third with the author's own view. Loyola, Locke, Elyot, Quintilian and Dewey all assume that education is to be explained by reference to its relations with other things. Their point of view is that of the "outsider" or "spectator". Spectator views come to grief because rather than show they simply assume that it is education that stands in the required relation. And, typically, they "miss the point". Downie et al, Telfer, Oakeshott and Peters all assume that their views of education can be intrinsically justified, that is, by appeal to the nature of education itself. Their point of view is that of the "participant". Participant views come to grief because rather than show they simply assume that that to which they appeal is indeed the nature of education. And, typically, what they assume to be education is only one aspect of it. Education, I think, is, in a phrase, preparation for independence. This thesis is a direct development of Peters's view, at least that view expressed in "The Justification of Education". It is, I argue, an improvement on that view because it takes better account of the relationships between education and upbringing (the most closely related extrinsic concept) and education and training (the most closely related intrinsic concept), and because it involves a more plausible order of explanation as between rationality (which Peters takes to be fundamental) and autonomy or independence.